Using Facebook's new graph search can feel like a dive down the rabbit hole. Each time you search, Facebook offers a list of alternative searches and results that include people you don't know, along with their photos, favorite bands, pages they've liked and other trivia. And it's these lists of seemingly random Facebookers that have raised concerns about privacy.
Facebook this week added a help page showing users how to control who sees their information in Graph searches. Bottom line, you can control who sees your future posts, but existing items are out of your control. If you find a photo that you're tagged in, you can remove the tag and ask the user to take down the photo, but there are no guarantees your friend or "friend" will do it. Read more: " Facebook Graph Search Makes Your Secrets Easier to Find ."
Follow these three steps to increase your privacy and limit what people see when they run a search.
- Check your profile items to determine which ones will turn up in search results. Go to your Timeline and select "About." Each section has an editor that will let you change settings for most listings. For instance, you can make your relationship status visible to only you.
- To control who can see your pictures, go to your Activity Log on the same Timeline page and find "Photos" in the listing on the left. Click to see two categories: photos you've posted to Facebook (Your Photos) and photos you're tagged in that were posted by others (Photos of You). You can change who sees your photos and delete your own photos, but you can't delete photos posted by someone else.
- However, you can prevent those photos from showing up on your Timeline by clicking the edit icon. You can also remove your nametag from photos. But if you want one taken down, you'll have to send a request to the poster with the reason you want it removed, choosing from options such as "I don't like this photo of me." Clicking on the sharing icon will give you the "report/remove tag" options.
While you can limit what information people can obtain about you from a Graph search, you can't make yourself unsearchable. The only people who would not see at least your name are those you have blocked.
For more tips, visit Facebook's Graph Search help page.